Now that the McAllen City Commission has approved the design on a new performing arts center, architects are preparing for the construction phase of the project. "Well, the Mayor and the City Commission are very excited about this project. Right now the architects and the engineers are looking at the building, making the final plans, getting the site lines set up like they need to be and getting ready for construction and they'll put the project out for bids roughly in about 7 months. And it should take between 20 and 24 months to build," said District 5 City Commissioner John J. Ingram.
Commissioners believe the new property, worth over 30 million dollars, will make a strong statement in McAllen with its very progressive architecture. It will be located on the southeast side of the McAllen Convention Center campus. "It's going to be a beautiful building, about 90 feet tall. You're going to see it from the freeway. The construction and the architecture is just beautiful. And, I think it's going to be something that when people enter McAllen, they're going to know right away that they're in McAllen," added Commissioner Ingram.
The Mayor and the city commissioners offered input on the design of the building in series of workshops. "It has an additional pond out there with a statue of a vaquero, very, very attractive, an area for valet parking that's separated from the general traffic flow of coming and dropping off people at the auditorium. It has quite a bit of glass, it has a nice view of the lake that is in front of the convention center, a lot of bring colors in it. It will have a balcony and a large lobby. It's going to be a wonderful addition to this campus out here," said District 1 City Commissioner Scott C. Crane.
Commissioners site a number of reasons why constructing this new facility is important for McAllen and for the region. "Well this adds to the quality of life in McAllen. We have a very old theatre, outdated. This is going to bring all the latest technology in. And really at the base of all of this is two things. It's adding to the quality of life for those of us who live here and for our children that perform in the ballets or the mariachi bands or whatever it is that they perform on stage but secondly and equally important is you want to build a community that is attractive to other companies that are potentially looking to relocate to the border region. So, we've got to compete with all the other communities up and down the border," added Commissioner Crane.
Before awarding a bid for construction, commissioners will have to finalize a plan to finance this project. The sell of the old Civic Center property and selling naming rights to the performing arts centers have been discussed as options, so far.